Tag Archives: organize

You Can Use Moving as a Catalyst for Downsizing


Most of us have clutter lying around the house: trinkets we don’t remember how we obtained, broken or worn items we’re never going to use again, things we were gifted but never wanted, the list goes on.

Moving is a great catalyst for getting rid of things you don’t want or need. A new home is a blank slate. You can start anew with only items that benefit your life. Below are some tips for using moving as a catalyst for downsizing your possessions.

womanundermoving boxes

Decide What’s Important to You

The first step to downsizing is to analyze your viewpoint on possessions. What sort of items do you want in your life? Obviously, items you use on a daily basis will stay. These items make your life easier and contribute to your happiness and well-being. When it comes to décor and other items, think about whether you notice them often and if they make you smile. We all want a positive vibe in our living space, but too many trinkets can actually add stress to your life instead of bringing joy.

You’ll also want to think about what you want your new home to look and feel like. This means getting rid of items that are broken, damaged, or just don’t contribute to your space. As you pack, you’ll want to think about every item. Does it add functionality or positivity to your life? If not, strongly consider leaving it behind.


Purge Your Belongings

After you’ve decided your standards for keeping and getting rid of items, it’s time to start the purge. Here is a great article with tips for purging your belongings before a move. 

As the article states, you’ll want to be very intentional in your organization. Designate piles and boxes for items you’re keeping, items you’re donating, and garbage. I suggest creating these groups in piles first, then packing your “keep” pile a few days later. This will give you a second chance to analyze whether each item truly positively contributes to your life.

You should get rid of:

Items you haven’t used in over 6 months

Items you’re only keeping to make someone else happy (gifts you never wanted)

Anything that is broken (if you haven’t fixed it yet, you probably never will

Clothes you haven’t worn in 6 months (with the exception of seasonal wear)


Keep the Momentum Going

Once you’ve moved, you have a chance to keep the momentum from your purge. You can do this in several ways. The first is to resist the urge to fill your new space with clutter. Keep your home organized and only buy things that you actually need. 

The second trick is to pay attention to what items you’re using. My favorite trick for keeping the closet organized is to turn the hangers backwards when hanging all your clothes. Then, after you wear them, re-hang the item the opposite direction. In 3 months, you’ll be able to quickly see which clothes you haven’t worn. If they aren’t seasonal, there’s a strong case for donating them.

Sometimes it’s easy to get in a funk with clothing. You wear the same clothes over and over again because you like them. But then maybe a certain shirt gets really worn. You keep wearing it because you used to love it, but you no longer feel confident in it. Learn to purge clothes as soon as they don’t make you feel good. This includes shirts with un-removable stains, clothing with (un-fashionable) rips and tears, and jeans that no longer fit properly, resulting in the zipper constantly sliding down. Removing these items from your closet will result in a functional wardrobe full of clothes you truly enjoy wearing.

These are just a few ways that moving can help you be more intentional in how you view your belongings. Do you have any downsizing tips? Share in the comments!


* Contributor Jeriann Watkins blogs at dairyairhead.com. As a crafter, she knows the challenge of wanting to keep items for their potential. You can see her organization tips and downsizing successes on her blog.
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Organize and Prioritize

Dear Kathi,

I am determined to use my time more effectively this year. I often have too many tasks to complete with not enough time. I constantly have to make choices and am often at a loss with which tasks to postpone until later. Help!
Bernie, Del Mar

You will do well to prioritize your list of tasks at the beginning of each day. Time is your most precious resource. It cannot be replaced but it can be optimized.

The very act of taking a moment to think about your time before you spend it will begin to improve your personal time management instantly.
As you go about your day, reallocate activities of lower value to activities of higher value as you complete the highest priorities on your list.
Be diligent and reshuffle your priorities as needed. The best schedule is one that is flexible and able to seize the golden opportunities as they present themselves. Have a fabulous 2005!

Kathi is a professional organizer, image consultant and event planner based in San Diego California.

Please submit your questions to: advice@addspacetoyourlife.com 
San Diego Professional Organizer

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How to Get Your Teenager to Organize Their Bedroom

How to Get Your Teenager to Organize Their Bedroom

This is a transcription of an interview that I had with a client part way through our organizing process. This was recorded during a shining moment when her teenage daughter had also decided to get help getting her room organized after watching the progress we were making in her mom’s closet. I always say, “be the change you want to see” and this time (more…)

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Teach Your Kids How to Organize Their School Papers

As your kids begin their evening homework, have them first check their planner to see what is due before they empty their backpack. Encourage them to pull out each assignment one at a time.

As each assignment is done, have them put it back into their pack. This way nothing will get left behind at home.

Like these quick and easy tips? Sign up to receive more here. You will also immediately receive the free eBook 33 Organizing Tips to Skyrocket Your Productivity.

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Organize Your Cleaning Supplies

Resist the temptation to stash your cleaning supplies wherever they will fit. Instead create a cleaning station with all supplies in one bucket.

With everything in one bucket, you can take it from room to room as you clean. This will save you time and money. You wont have to search for the scrubby sponge or buy duplicate supplies. When you run out, you will know it and will be able to restock in a flash on your next shopping trip.

Like these quick and easy tips? Sign up to receive more here. You will also receive the free eBook 33 Organizing Tips to Skyrocket Your Productivity.

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Organize and Optimize Your Business ~ Featured by the SBDC & San Marcos Chamber of Commerce

12@12 Luncheon

Date: June 22, 2011 Time: 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Event Description This one hour program will help you organize your business and optimize your time using tips and tricks presented by professional organizer Kathi Burns.

Kathi is a Board Certified Professional Organizer  and the founder of addSpace To Your Life!

This learning session is free to the public with sandwiches provided by Jersey Mikes.

12@12 is an ongoing program sponsored by the California Small Business Development Center.

Event Location: San Marcos Chamber of Commerce
904 W. San Marcos Blvd., Suite 10
San Marcos, CA  92078
(760)  744-1270


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Organize Your Barn ~ Yes, You Can!

After spending my teenage years training and riding my horse Blaze, I am proud to have been assigned by Horse and Rider Magazine to organize a horse (more…)

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Office Depot reports that clutter in office work spaces is often food!

I can testify to this fact. many desks that I organize use complete file drawers only to store food. Does everyone now eat at their desks?

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Secrets of Getting Organized

Feel the need to get better organized? Pick up the new magazine Secrets of Getting Organized by Better Homes and Gardens.

There are organizing solutions for almost every room in (more…)

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Organize For a Stress-Free Holiday

Once again the holidays are upon us. Planning a party or a family get together in honor of the season? Keeping organized is crucial to keeping your holiday-stress-o-meter in the ‘calm zone.’ A few simple tips can keep you from burning out and help you plan a fun get together that is virtually stress free. (more…)

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